- 2020–Present: PhD Researcher, London NERC DTP, Institute of Zoology and University College London
- 2019–2020: MSc Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Queen Mary University of London
- 2014–2019: BSc (Hons) Zoology with Industrial / Professional Experience, University of Manchester
- 2017–2018: Research Assistant, Manchester Metropolitan University
- July–August 2016: Research Assistant, Wildlife Sense, Greece
- July–August 2015: Research Assistant, Operation Wallacea, Honduras
I am interested in how behavioural adaptation can form a non-genetic, heritable evolutionary process. This can allow mitigation against environmental change in social animals in particular. I am interested in how behavioural adaptations are transmitted between individuals and implications this has for conservation of social animals.
Social animals display some of the most complex and varied behaviours in the animal kingdom. These behaviours can differ between populations of the same species, much like human cultural traditions. Social network analysis (SNA) is a powerful tool that can reveal how social information regarding innovations or behavioural traditions spread within a group. However, SNAs often assume that all individuals are homogenous, i.e., equal in their ability to acquire, apply and transmit social information but individual variation in these traits mean than individuals may differ in their ability to learn socially. Such individual heterogeneities could help explain patterns of variation in the spread and repertoire of cultural traditions, and speed of diffusion and adoption. This project will use individual-based models (IBMs) and SNA to investigate how heterogeneity within primate groups impacts social information flow and the emergence/evolution of culture. Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) within the Tsaobis Baboon Project will be used as our model system, to which IBMs and SNA models will be tested using 20 years of past data and field experiments. Conclusions generated from this project will be valuable for policy makers and inform conservation actors upon the likelihood of success of primate group reintroduction or translocation initiatives.
Bettridge, C.M., Kenworthy, S.P., Butynski, T.M., de Jong, Y.A., de Kort, S.R., 2019. Vocal Repertoire and Intraspecific Variation within Two Loud Calls of the Small-Eared Greater Galago (Otolemur garnettii) in Tanzania and Kenya. Folia Primatol. (Basel) 90, 319–335. https://doi.org/10.1159/000500260